Whether the result of a playful puppy that went too far or a serious and vicious attack, dog attacks can quickly escalate. In either situation, and everything in between, a dog bite can range from a fairly minor laceration requiring a bit of soap, water, and TLC to a very serious injury that requires medical attention.
What are the numbers?
Unfortunately dog bites are not uncommon. There were 245 dog bites reported in Wake County alone in 2020.
Are these attacks serious?
Although the majority of reported dog bites were relatively minor, there are also reports of serious attacks. In the first few month’s of 2021 dog bites led to the death of two children and at least one adult required an air lift after suffering serious injuries when attacked by five large dogs.
Are there laws to protect the public from dangerous dogs?
Most states have laws to protect victims of dog attacks while also encouraging dog owners to keep their neighborhoods safe. North Carolina is one of them. Under these laws, victims of a dog attack can hold the dog owner responsible for the dog bite. To do so, state law generally requires the victim show the following:
- The dog is dangerous. As defined by state law, this means the dog killed or caused serious injury without provocation or is deemed by a designated authority to have caused a serious bite, killed, or seriously injured a domestic animal when not on the owner’s property or approached a person outside of the owner’s property in a threatening manner.
- There was an injury. The victim will also need to show evidence of the dog bite.
It is important to note that there is a time limit for these claims. Victims generally only have a few years and then the window to hold the owner responsible for the attack will close. If successful, the claim can result in the funds needed to cover the cost of medical care and other expenses that result from the attack.